A variator is a transfer device between the engine and the wheels or another type of drive - a screw, a track, which can smoothly change the speeds of rotation of the drive and driven disc.
Such devices have long been used on mopeds, scooters, jet skis, snowmobiles and many other mechanisms. And although the variator appeared on the car in the middle of the last century, it is only now beginning to be actively implemented on many models of famous automakers.
Starting a car with a variator resembles a powerful electric motor acceleration: smoothly, without failures, with a slight increasing noise, the car rushes forward, often leaving behind more powerful fellows, since it does not waste time switching speeds. It is well established that in the presence of two cars with identical motors, the one that has a variator will be ahead.
Such a car forgives its owner many mistakes - it does not stall at a traffic light, does not roll back when lifting, will allow it to move smoothly in any situation, eliminating the load on transmission elements.
Due to the fact that under the steering wheel there are only two pedals, like on an automatic gearbox, the comfort of movement in dense urban mode increases, and the risk of confusing them for novice drivers is significantly reduced. But a true professional will appreciate the convenience of such a transmission, not only in the city, but also on the highway.
Some may be confused by the even "buzzing" of the engine in all modes of operation. Here you can not achieve sports "roar" with a sharp acceleration. All this is because smart electronics optimizes engine performance, forcing it to operate in nominal power mode.
But for those who want to have the opportunity to use "tiptronic" - the emulator switching fixed speeds, when the driver's signal gives the command control to switch the variator in one of the established modes. For fast acceleration, there is a function similar to the “kick-down” of automatic gearboxes, when the gear ratio changes dramatically to impart acceleration at the final position of the gas pedal.
Thanks to all of the above factors, a car with a CVT has an advantage over cars with other transmission devices.
- This is a faster set of speed, fuel economy, optimization of the load on the engine and drive elements.
- Due to the fact that the engine is controlled by electronics, rather than simply moving the “gas” pedal, it works in a “gentle” mode and requires less frequent maintenance and repair.
- The level of harmful substances in the exhaust gases is much lower than in other similar models, and the noise is much quieter.
But such a gearbox has, alas, a number of deficiencies:
- The variator is not installed on cars with powerful engines, although some copies have already appeared in the serial version.
- As a transmission filler, a special liquid is used, it is more expensive than ordinary oil, it requires precise control of its level and is not replaced by a similar car from another model.
- When the battery is disconnected, the variator is calibrated for optimal performance over about one hundred kilometers or forcibly, using a special algorithm.
- Repair of such a box is quite expensive.
- There are restrictions on towing a car with a variator, as well as towing such a car to a trailer or other car.
- The operation of the variator depends on the signal of many sensors: pressure, speed, ABS, crankshaft position. The failure of one of them or the loss of contact entails a malfunctioning of the transmission or “stalling” in emergency driving mode.
According to many experts, there is a great future for the CVT. He is quite able to move not only mechanics and robotic gearboxes, but also automatic machines that have already become familiar.
Observing a few simple operating rules when driving, it is possible to provide the variator with optimal working conditions and thus avoid repairing it.
- In the cold season to avoid loads on the transmission at the beginning of the movement. It is necessary to allow all the elements of the system to warm up at a "slow speed".
- Monitor the level and condition of the fluid, replace it in a timely manner.
- Avoid sudden loads when starting (this transmission is not for racing), when towing and overcoming off-road.
- Take care of the health of all sensors, the integrity of the wiring and connectors.
- If you have problems with the movement, first of all, pay attention to the engine - candles, power system, electrician. To diagnose fault codes and, of course, do not try to repair the box yourself.
But in general ... Try it yourself, you will definitely like the CVT.